RUST ON TRAPS—Is there any preparation to put on rusty traps to take either the rust or rusty smell away without leaving any bad odor on the trap? If there is, please let me know. Can a mink or coon smell a rusty trap when set in water?
It is my opinion that animals are not frightened by the odor of rusty iron and do not locate the trap in that way but rather by other odors which may cling to the trap, from handling, or from having come in contact with the bait and other strong smelling substances. Boiling the traps in a solution of walnut hulls, maple, willow or oak bark, hemlock or cedar tips, or sweet fern leaves, will give them a blue-black color, remove much of the coat and preserve them for a considerable length of time. It will also remove all foreign odors and care should be used in handling afterwards to keep them clean, Some of the most successful trappers that I know use rusty traps and keep them hanging in the woods near where they wish to set them and this prevents them from collecting foreign odors. When setting by the side of a large bait, such as the carcass of a large animal, a covering of hair or the contents of the paunch will smother the odor of the trap. At other times the odor may he removed by covering with shredded rotten wood, strong smelling leaves, etc., giving the trap the same odor as the surroundings. No animal can smell the trap when set under water.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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